Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

We learned in the last two posts that our thoughts control our destiny, and we can control our thoughts. Please read my previous two posts if you haven’t already. In this post, I want to share more specifically how to control your thoughts. In the post called ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL, I explained how I tend to let my thinking go to extremes of anger, and then to worry.  I use the truths in the Bible for my inspiration because it is the authority for how we should think. How we think dictates how well we love.

To break my negative thought cycles, I would consciously choose to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks for this is God’s will” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  To rejoice always is to choose to focus your thoughts continually on things that make you glad, happy, or delighted.  Rejoice in Jesus and how you are forgiven and free from the control of sin, etc.  Rejoice in the fact that God is faithful, and nothing is impossible with Him.

Next, pray without ceasing by turning every thought into a prayer. If you think of someone, pray for them. If you are upset about something, ask God to help you forgive or whatever you need God to do.  If you are tempted to give in to your fleshly desires, pray for help to resist.  By praying we are practicing the presense of God in our lives as Brother Lawrence teaches.

In everything give thanks, which does not leave anything out.  Have an attitutude of gratitude.  Imagine, if you rejoice, pray, and be thankful all the time, you would never be depressed, miserable, angry, etc.  When I focus my thoughts on these three things, I feel peaceful, so I don’t act miserably and make others miserable.  Breaking negative thought cycles takes work and discipline, but it is well worth it.

The Apostle Paul also taught the Philippians how to safeguard their minds. In Philippians 4:4-8 he lays out four ways to create a healthy thought life.

  1. Have an attitude of praise and gratitude. “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4 NIV) – To rejoice in the Lord always is to worship the Lord and all He is with thanksgiving. Philippians 3:1 also states, Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. …it is a safeguard for you.” A safeguard is a protective stipulation. Rejoicing protects our minds from destructive thoughts of anger, malice, envy, worry, fear, etc. Things to rejoice and be glad for, and be thankful for, can be found in Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers, I encourage you to add this page to your favorite list and visit this page daily.
  2. Let prayer occupy your thoughts all the time, especially during times of emotional stress. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6 NIV). Also, Ephesians 6:18 states, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions (all the time) with all kinds of prayers and requests.” So, how do we pray in the Spirit all the time?  It is our spirit with the Holy Spirit in us that prays through our minds to God. Read Four Realities of the Spirit World to learn about the interactions of the spirit world. You can also pray in the spirit through a spiritual language you receive when you pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to fill you (see Acts 19:6 and 1 Corinthians 14:2&14).  Prayer with thanksgiving is a way to productively channel your emotional energy. If you tend to worry or be angry, then read the following posts to learn how to be free to choose different thoughts and break the cycle: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds and ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds
  3. Choose where you let your thoughts dwell. You have control of your thoughts, so use that control to your benefit and the benefit of others.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble (honorable), whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8 NIV emphasis added) – Be proactive about your thought life! Choose to think true and positive thoughts described in this verse. Write down an example for each type of thought that would pertain to your life. For example:
  • True thoughts are based on what you read in the Bible, so focus on scriptural truths about yourself, others, God, and the world around you.  My short book on this website has over 100 true thoughts to think on.
  • Noble or honorable thoughts could be thoughts about what you can do to help others or to show kindness to a crabby person, or show love to someone who is difficult to love, etc.
  • Right thoughts could be thoughts about what is good and what you like about a person or something. For example, I have to walk a ½ mile to my office building from where I park.  When the weather is crappy, it is hard to have right thoughts.  Right thoughts are to think of the good exercise I am getting that I wouldn’t get otherwise, the fresh air I am breathing to detoxify my lungs and body, more time to pray, etc.
  • Pure thoughts could be thinking good about people and not judgmental thoughts. Choose to think pure thoughts about the opposite sex, instead of obscene thoughts. Choose to view movies and TV shows or read material that generate pure thoughts. In Psalms 101:3a, King David said, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;” Make this verse your priority to protect your mind from wicked and evil words and images, so your thoughts remain pure.
  • Lovely thoughts could be thinking about someone you love or thinking about how much God loves you that He would send His son to die and atone for our sin. And how His son, Jesus, would willingly do this for ungrateful people who reject Him.
  • Admirable thoughts could be thoughts that marvel at God’s creation, goodness, and mercy. Or, think about things that are done excellently, like a beautiful garden or some other good works.
  1. Your thoughts determine the beliefs and attitudes of your heart. When you practice thinking the thoughts listed above your mind is at peace, and you will be at peace with others and life. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 NIV) – This verse is conditional and is based on following the previous principles of thinking. So, when you rejoice, pray, be thankful, and think good thoughts, you are inviting God into your thought life and valuing yourself and others.

Thoughts come from all directions.  Thoughts come from our experiences and the words we read and hear. I wrote two posts about the power of our words and how they influence us.

WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Has this ever happened to you?  My son finished his fourth year of college out of five and it is not cool to talk to his mom.  I find out from my husband that he received two awards, one was for having the highest GPA in Architectural Engineering.  So, I took offense and I thought, well, why didn’t he tell me when I asked what has been happening in his life.  Why wasn’t I invited to the awards ceremony?  Who was invited instead of me?  My thoughts kept going like a fire.  I could not sleep; I woke up depressed.  All my muscles were tense with anxiety.  I had the unhealthy belief that my son did not love me.  I believed he will shut me out of his life, and I will never see my grandchildren.  Poo Hoo.  This example is only a smattering of how my thoughts quickly got out of control.

I know all thoughts are within my control.  So I told myself to STOP thinking those wrong thoughts and taking an offense.  I talked to myself and acknowledged that I was disappointed because my expectations were not met, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of our relationship.   The Bible teaches us to forgive, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and be thankful in everything.  I refocused my thoughts on good thoughts and what I can be thankful for.  I prayed and asked God to take my anxious thoughts and unhealthy beliefs from me and the resulting stress energy.

I decided to text my son to let him know I was disappointed about not being invited to the awards ceremony and how proud I was of his achievement.  He called me right away and told me to get over myself and stop my pity party because the awards ceremony was not open to family and friends.  I had a good laugh at myself.  By that time I was over my obsessing because I accepted that those we love will disappoint us, and we will disappoint them.

So, where did those wrong thoughts originate?  I asked God to show me where those thoughts flowed from.  He showed me that I was feeling insecure about my relationship with my son, and my insecure feelings generated my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs.   Could an unseen evil spirt have planted the thoughts that make me feel insecure?  What is generating your thoughts?  Hurt feelings, insecurity, dissapointments, unmet expectations, etc.  My short book on my website helps you to discover the sources of wrong thinking.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

I know the topic of thoughts is vast and mind-boggling, but my research is specific to the influence of unseen spiritual forces that affect our thinking.  Thinking about what controls our thinking and how our thoughts influence us is hard enough, now I have added the unseen spirit world.  The Bible records many instances of how the devil influences people’s thinking.  I use Biblical accounts because the Bible was written by God, as He influenced men’s minds to record His words.  Therefore, the Bible is the authority on spiritual and relational issues.  To learn more about who God is and the unseen spirit forces around us, read my post called, Four Realities of the Spirit World.

The following Biblical account is the first example of planted thoughts, which most of you already know or have heard of it.  God created Adam and Eve in a garden and told them not to eat from the tree in the center of the garden.  Satan (evil spirit) takes the form of a serpent and climbs the forbidden tree.  He causes Eve to doubt what God told her is the truth about dying.  The devil tempted her to eat the forbidden fruit by enticing her to desire it and then persuaded her that if she eats it, she will be like God, knowing good and evil (see Genesis 3:4).  This thought appealed to her pride.  Interesting, the devil’s sin was pride because he also wanted to be independent of God, which broke his relationship with God.  The wrong thought then caused Eve to look at the fruit and desire to eat it.  Her desire then compelled her to sin and eat the fruit.  This process shows how unseen wrong thinking led to disobedience and separation from God.

Temptations also create thoughts of offense, which then generate unhealthy, false beliefs.  Satan’s temptation may have caused Eve to think and believe:  “How could a loving God keep such a beautiful piece of fruit from me?” and “Why should Adam and I not know good from evil and be like God?”

??  What were Eve’s mistakes? 

Her first mistake was to reason with the serpent (the devil).  Her second mistake was to consider disobeying God.  The third mistake was to entertain the wrong thought and be enticed to look at and desire the fruit.  And the ultimate mistake was to give into her fleshly desire and disobey God’s good and just command.  The devil still uses the same temptation of living independent of God on all of humanity.

Until we recognize our thoughts and rule over them, they will continually control our beliefs, feelings, behavior, and destiny.  We daily face temptations that appeal to our self-centered desires to live independent of God.  Satan has not changed his tactics since tempting Eve.  All unseen battles begin as a thought that is within our control.  The girls in the prison system were told that if they withstand temptation for seven seconds, they can overcome the temptation.  I encourage them to replace the wrong thought creating the desire for the harmful activity with a healthy thought based on Scriptural truth.

??  How do our thoughts dictate our actions?

My mind used to be controlled by thoughts of fear, which would cause my adrenaline to go up.  Before I could stop it, I was in a panic—over nothing—except thoughts that needed to be taken captive.  And because of all the conflicts from my past, I realized I was constantly in a flight or fight mode, which created stress in my body.  I would sometimes imagine a confrontation with someone that would never happen.  I would get all upset and angry because of wrong thoughts, which needed to be taken captive and loosed from my mind.

To learn more about dealing with unhealthy beliefs read: Identify and Replace False Beliefs.

 

WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

Have you ever considered the power of the spoken or written word?  When someone says something hurtful, it creates an offense in our hearts.   A person’s words reveal the condition of their heart.  Therefore, the person saying the hurtful words is also hurting from the offenses they have stored in their hearts from painful memories.  This post explains how to overcome the power of offensive words and actions.  But first, let’s review the power of words.  Imagine how the progression below is influenced by negative words, then imagine how the progression is influenced by positive words.

Words (positive or negative) create like thoughts.

Thoughts create feelings.

Feelings create beliefs.

Beliefs create attitudes.

Attitudes influence decisions for behavior.

 Decisions directs the course of our life.

Change the course of your life by changing your thoughts.

Often, when we become offended, it is because the words or action triggered a subconcious painful memory of an unmet need or expectation.  Other times, we become offended because a selfish desire was not met or our pride was hurt.  All of humanity struggles with being self-centered.  For instance, someone does something to you or says something about you that you thought was unloving; your first response is to think; that wasn’t right; I didn’t like that.  Or you weren’t acknowledged for an achievement, or accepted into a group, or ignored, etc., which hurt your pride.  So, when we become offended, we open the door to the temptation to be angry, bitter, depressed, then to slander, gossip, and say hurtful things.  Our thoughts and feelings become controlled by the offense, and we do and say hurtful things.  To be free from the control of offenses, do the following three actions.

First, is to forgive, which may be hard to do, but it is to set you free from their control on your mind, not for them. Forgiving sets your mind free from the unseen control of negative energy from the hurtful words or actions.   Forgiveness also releases the unseen control of negative energy from painful thoughts, so they don’t control our feelings and actions.  Second, pray for the person who hurt you, because they are hurting.   Praying generates positive energy, that gives you positive feelings and positive thoughts.  And third, set your mind on the things of God by reading the Bible and transforming your thoughts to think His thoughts of love for yourself and others.  The following post describes this process in detail: Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Sometimes though, you need to set boundaries for people who continue to say abusive, hurtful words, after you have first spoken to them about how their unloving words affect you.  You need not let their words control your thinking, feelings, beliefs, and attitude, which is hard to do, but possible when you are quick to forgive.

For example, I became offended by the words on an anniversary card my wonderful husband gave me.  He did not intend to offend me, but when I explained why I was offended, he apologized and tried to make it right.  Unfortunately, I allowed the offense to get into my heart and control my feelings, and I became miserable and said hurtful things.  I’m sure no one else has done that.

When I had enough of feeling sorry for myself, I remembered that I needed to forgive the offense, even though it was not intentional.  Then I asked God to forgive me for being hurtful, and to take the power of that memory and negative energy of the offense from my mind and heart.  I felt so much better.  So often relationships are ruined by hurtful words and holding onto offenses.  I realized the quicker I forgave, the more love, peace, and joy I would experience, and the more love, peace, and joy others would experience when they were in my presence.

The anniversary card situation caused me to ask myself, why did that card offend me?  I knew from my research that it had triggered a painful memory.  So, I asked God to show me what the offense was.  He showed me that I was still offended by a hurt from my first marriage.  I went through the “Kindness Issues” worksheet on my website to release the offenses I was feeling.  Next, I forgave my ex-husband for the hurtful words he had spoken to me, and I asked God to lose and remove the power of that memory and all negative energies from my mind and heart. I also applied the right thinking and truths from the “Joy” and “Peace Issues” worksheets to transform the feelings of hurt and anguish in my heart and mind.  After going through the process of healing these negative heart issues, I felt so much peace and joy.

To learn more, please visit my site and read a short book I wrote about how I transformed many negative heart issues and discovered a new reality. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you found this helpful.  May God Bless you richly.

To understand the power of forgiving, read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

You may enjoy reading my next post called: WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

 

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Many of the women I minister to feel there is no hope for overcoming their situations. And sadly, I often meet women who are put in jail right after having a baby that tested hot for drugs. Equally sad are the women whose children have been taken away from them, which drives them to use drugs and alcohol to escape that emotional pain. These women feel defeated and hopeless. When I asked them why they use, 99% of them say it is to avoid feeling emotional pain. They know the drugs and alcohol takes them further away from the life they desire. But, they feel they have no inner strength to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. Their hearts are full of emotional pain from unloving acts from those who should have loved them. Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have a love hunger that they are trying to satisfy with everything but the true source of love.

You may not have a drug or alcohol problem, but if you are honest, you also have some mechanism for escaping inner pain (e.g., binge eating, shopping, watching TV/movies, workaholism, etc.) For example, I was a workaholic, and my accomplishments helped me feel good, which concealed the pain in my heart. I also felt helpless to control my anger when I was offended. As a result, I believed I was unlovable and worthless. I have good news; with God’s help, I was able to transform my unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts with His truth.  Read about my transformation here.

The following five facts have helped the women in jail have hope to achieve lasting peace, love, and victory.  I pray they help you as well:

1. Know the source of offenses that steal your peace, love, and sense of worth.

a) Taking an offense to something is when you feel resentment for something done or said which often causes hurt feelings or displeasure. These resentments build up in our hearts throughout our lives.

b) The demonic powers around us are destructive forces in our lives. In Ephesians 6:12 it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Also see Eph. 2:2; 2Cor. 4:4.

c) The Bible says that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). The lies we believe cause us to be offended, which results in resentment and hate. For example, my oldest son believed the lie that I hated him because I disciplined him. He believed the lie that my discipline was abusive, therefore, he says he hates me. I can’t change what he believes because resentment is consuming and the demons keep it stirred up in him to keep him in bondage to these destructive thoughts.

d) The demons want to keep you defeated by destroying your peace, self-worth, and ability to feel loved. Children are their favorite target because they are so vulnerable, then as adults we wonder why we have so many offenses in our hearts, also called unresolved childhood issues. Feeling unloved and offended can lead to various destructive actions and addictions, which result in feeling more defeated.

For instance, when I am offended and get upset, I desire to binge eat, especially chocolate, or I get angry and tell the person off. Both responses are destructive; binge eating is destructive to my body and anger destroys my relationships. We can choose to respond with peace and love, which may sound impossible. Choosing a non-destructive action requires us to constantly check our thoughts and control them, though I still need to improve. Awareness of how we are offended is the first step.

2. Know your source of help to resist the demonic attempts to destroy you.

a) Jesus knows what it is like to suffer demonic attacks and temptations. He overcame the devil and defeated the enemy of our souls, and is able to help us overcome (see Hebrews 2:17&18; Heb. 4:15&16; and 1 John 3:8).

b) To receive this help, we need to put off the pride of being self-focused and the lie that we don’t need Jesus.  Then, humbly ask Him by faith to transform our lives. When we do this, then we will be rooted and grounded in His love and nothing can separate us from His love (see Ephesians 3:17; 1 John 4:9-10; and Romans 8:35-39). Also, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit who is our helper (see John 14:26; 15:26; and Romans 8:24-27).  To learn more about pride, read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

c) After receiving Jesus into our hearts and submitting to God, which is to obey Him, then we will have all the divine promises in Christ Jesus. We will also have his divine nature and power to have lasting victory over all our issues and addictions. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4) For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” We tap into this divine power by faith through prayer and believing. We do not see the divine power in us, but we know it is there by faith and that it is ours through prayer.

3. Know the true source of love, peace, and victory.

a) God will always love us and He gives us His worth. (See Colossians 3:12). He is our only source of love; not our parents, not our boy/girlfriends, not our family, not our spouse; no one can love us as God does. Our love is flawed because each of us has wounds and hurts (offenses) from the sins and weaknesses of those around us.

b) God is our only source of peace. Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him/her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he/she trusts in You.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Also see 1 John 5:4) The key to lasting peace is to keep our minds on God through continual prayer.

c) God is our only source of victory over the demonic world; James 4:7,8 says, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Victory occurs when we submit to God and resist the devil through prayer and standing firm in our faith.  Victory also requires that we remove sin from our lives. Also see 1 Peter 5:8,9a.

4. Know the truth and pray the truth to stay in perfect peace, love, and victory.

a) Our responsibility is to keep our minds on the truths of the Word of God and remain with Him through prayer. As we stay in prayer, we will be victorious over the many temptations to believe the devil’s lies and become offended (see John 15 and Colossians 3:1-3). But first, we need to humbly confess our sins through prayer and seek God for forgiveness (see 1 John 1:9). You see, sin blocks our prayers and God will not hear our prayers because He is Holy (see Is. 59:2).

b) If we keep our minds on our problems and what we don’t like, then we will be worried, fearful, angry, depressed, etc. So, when you find yourself focused on a problem or an offense, then turn it into a prayer of repentance and submission to regain your peace, love, and victory. For example, we can get upset with a family member for the things they did or said or how they said it, and it can consume us. But when we turn the problem over to God and trust Him with it, then we will be filled with peace and love again. I have also found that being thankful keeps me in peace. As you know, when you don’t feel peace in yourself, you are not at peace with others around you.

c) Our prayers and words have power and we can take every thought captive in the name of Jesus and command them to be gone. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh (live in the world, NIV), we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (this world), but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (strongholds). We are destroying speculations (arguments) and every lofty thing (pretensions) raised up against the knowledge of God (truth), and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Taking our thoughts captive is critical to have lasting victory over our destructive emotions and actions.

5. Lastly, remove the many offenses in our hearts through prayer and forgiving.

a) Offenses hinder love but purifying out hearts by removing offenses allows us to feel love and to love others. Purifying our hearts begins with obeying the Word of God, that is, to do what it says. 1 Peter 1:22 states, Having purified your souls (heart, mind, and conscience) by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” We are able to love with a pure heart when our soul wounds are healed as outlined in my healing booklet found in my website (hopeforcompletehealing.com).

b) One of the truths we need to obey to be victorious over offenses is to forgive those who offended us. Then to put off the lies we believed. (See Matthew 6:12; Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32). Our unforgiveness perpetuates the inner pain we feel and keeps us in bondage to it. We will never have lasting peace, love, or victory if we do not forgive.  If you find it hard to forgive, read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

I hope you found these five facts helpful and know that lasting peace, love, and victory is possible. In my website, I list many truths concerning key character traits to help you replace the devil’s lies with truth. I encourage you to take a look at these and be blessed.

You may be interested in reading: #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

 

 

WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story

When you view yourself in the mirror what do you see; a beautiful butterfly or an ugly caterpillar?

Before my life transformation, I looked in the mirror and saw a lonely, hurting, and unlovable child in an adult body.  I desired to be a person who would know, feel, and show love.  I wanted to be joyful and not sad and disconnected.  I wanted to feel peace instead of anxiety and anger.  Because of the many offenses in my heart from my abusive and dysfunctional past, I developed unhealthy beliefs and unloving thoughts that controlled my emotions.  But, before I continue with my story, I want to explain what the terms abusive and dysfunctional mean.  And what are offenses?  The following definitions are from the Webster dictionary.

Dysfunctional is to be abnormal and/or emotionally impaired.  A dysfunctional person is not emotionally stable, secure, or peaceful. They are usually full of unreasonable anger and anxiety.  Also, a dysfunctional person is someone who can be impaired by alcohol, drugs, mental illness, addiction, etc.

Abuse is the mistreatment of others that causes physical, emotional, and mental harm.  Abuse also includes using insulting, coarse, or bad language about or to someone.

Offenses are resentments, hurt feelings, and displeasure from the pain of unfairness, mistreatment, disrespect, betrayal, unacceptance, and being ignored.

My Story

My transformation began at eight years old when I heard the good news about Jesus Christ, and I believed.  After asking Him to come into my heart, I felt His life come into me, and I felt hope for the first time.  I continued to live in a dysfunctional and abusive home where painful memories and the related emotional stress continued to build up.  Because I didn’t feel safe, I became anxious.  In addition, I was lonely and discontent, which led to different escaping behaviors.  And, I became angry from the mistreatment.  Though both my parents professed to be “Christians,” they continued to sin because of offenses in their hearts from the repressed painful memories of their dysfunctional pasts.

My first marriage was to a hurting “Christian” man, who would be abusive because of the offenses in his heart.  As a result, I became depressed, even more insecure, angry, and controlling.  I realized I needed to change for the sake of my children, students, and friendships.   So, I went to several psychologists; read many self-help books; and attended several bible study groups, but did not experience any change in my life.  These activities only exposed the depravity of my heart.  And since my repressed painful memories weren’t transformed, I continued to act out of my wounded heart. I ended up having to separate from and then divorce my first husband.  Beause I trusted in God, I saw many miracles as He helped me go through the divorce and custody battle.  This story is in the post called: Trust God to Keep His Promises.

Because we live in a sinful world with self-centered people, not one of us can escape from having painful memories and negative heart issues.  Therefore, we all need inner life transformation.  Unresolved negative issues affect all our relationships and even our destiny.  You can expose them by paying attention to what you think, say, and do.

I encourage you to keep a journal of your thoughts, words, and reactions for several months.  In a separate journal record as much as you know about your family as far back as you can remember.  Ask your parents and grandparents to tell you what they know.  Write about relationship dynamics and any dysfunctional patterns.  Record any major events that shaped their lives and yours, such as a death, divorce, addiction, mental illness, disability, or a major change that was upsetting.  Every detail will give you a clue about how your family dynamics were shaped and any dysfunctions that were past down.  By journalling, you will better understand your parent’s and their unresolved negative issues that may be affecting them, which is also affecting you.

Next, write as much as you can remember about your life, even the beginning of your life, which your mother could tell you.  Record the relationship dynamics between you and your parents, siblings, and extended family.  Some memories will be painful and they need to be healed for you to be healed, which is the purpose of exposing them.  Reading my book on my website will help you heal these memories.  To learn more about memories read HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR.

Working through unresolved negative issues takes time, but it is well worth the time. I have been working on my negative heart issues for the past 20+ years, and I have seen incredible results in my life, marriage, family, and workplace relationships.  As I am mindful of what I say and how I react, I am able to correct my behavior, so I can love from a pure heart.  I am constantly refering to the “issues” worksheet pages on my website to resolve the negative issues from my past, that are creating negative issues in the present.  I am also quicker to recognize when I become offended from other people’s negative issues, so I can forgive and remove the offense out of my heart.  To learn more about how our words have power read: WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words and WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy.

I was the perfect person to test what worked and did not work for transforming a hurting heart into a loving heart.  With each negative issue, I asked God to show me why I reacted with unloving behavior, and how I could change.  God showed me how to heal the hurts and offenses in my heart with truth while using specific prayer requests as outlined next.  This process is described in detail in my website called hopeforcompletehealing.com.

For each negative issue, I asked God to:

  1. Uncover repressed painful memories that caused the offense. Then I asked Him to heal the image and to help me forgive those involved.  If you struggle with forgiving, please read WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.
  2. Identify and eliminate the unhealthy beliefs created by the painful memory that causes wrong thinking and then replace them with the truth.  For more details read UNHEALTHY BELIEFS PART 1: What are they and where do they come from?
  3. Identify and eliminate strongholds that protect the painful memories and unhealthy beliefs from being healed.  To understand what strongholds are read STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?
  4. Identify and eliminate generational curses and sins that prevented the transformation of dysfunctional patterns.
  5. Eliminate the oppressive spirits (negative energy) associated with the painful memories and beliefs which perpetuate the offenses and attract more offense.

Now, I look in the mirror and see a happy, emotionally healthy, and content woman; not a hurting, lonely, and unlovable little girl.  When you view yourself in the mirror what do you want to see?

Ultimately, the Bible is the most important book to read for complete healing and transformation of our minds, hearts, and health.  2 Corinthians 4:16 states, “Do not lose heart, though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”  Ephesians 4:23 and Colossians 3:10 tells us to renew our minds to reflect the image of God, which only happens when we read the Bible.

Furthermore, for our prayers to be effective, we need to have a right relationship with God, because it is God who ultimately heals and transforms us.  If you have issues with God, I would ask that you believe the fact that He wants to heal your hurts and give you a new life. This begins with spiritual healing by believing and confessing that Jesus Christ is God the Son, who died on the cross to pay the debt for sin and who forgives our sins and frees us from sins control (See Jn 1:29; 1 Jn 4:15; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Col 1:14; & Gal 5:1). When we confess this with our mouth and believe it with our heart, then God the Holy Spirit enters our hearts and fills us with the love, life, and light of Jesus (See Gal 4:6 & 1 Cor 6:17). If you have not made this confession, then do it now to begin the transformational healing process (See Rom 10:9-13 & Eph 2:1-10). Moreover, we are transformed by the love of God the Father as we remain with Him and trust Him to transform our lives according to His truth. See John 17:17.

Our sin, and especially the sin of pride, also blocks our prayers from reaching God.  Psalms 66:18 states,If I have cherished sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear.Isaiah 59:2 states, But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that he will not hear.To know if you have sin, ask God to search your heart and mind.  Jeremiah 17:9-10 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?  10) ‘I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.’” (Also see Revelations 2:23.)  But we can become free from sin by confessing it to God. 1 John 1:9 tells us If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

12 JOY Stealers

I suffered from all 12 joy stealers. In fact, I was so miserable that my husband often threatened to call me “ce” instead of Joyce (true story).  I wrote in my last two posts about suffering well.  For many of us, we do not suffer well and we relive painful memories, thus, perpetuating the pain that robs us of joy in our present life.  The links to my last two posts: 7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1) and Joseph, an Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well

12 JOY STEALERS

Sadness: sorrow about the loss of love, honor, respect, innocence, and not being accepted. It is a feeling of dejection, which is a low spirit of depression and discouragement.

Depression: brooding on one’s problems

Apathy: absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement (I don’t care attitude)

Despair: loss of hope

Discouragement: having no courage, confidence, or hope

Grief: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss

Hopelessness: having no expectation of a favorable outcome

Despondency: being in very low spirits due to a loss of hope and a sense of futility about continuing one’s efforts

Misery: a condition of great suffering because of pain, poverty, etc.; distress

Feeling Inferior: below average; low status, rank, etc.

Feeling Worthless: without worth; of no use, importance, or value

Complaining attitude: to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault

I spoke with an elderly man who spent his whole life reliving his past hurts. Have you ever been around people who have to tell you how bad they had it and the terrible things that happened in their life? How does that make you feel? Do you relive your past hurts and disappointments? I too suffered a lot of hurts, disappointments, abuses, rejections, betrayals, etc., which was why I had no joy and was always angry. I didn’t like living with myself and I made everyone else miserable. My website, hopeforcompeletehealing.com, contains my story and how I discovered the secret to overcoming these 12 joy stealers, plus so much more.

I asked the elderly man what the purpose was for telling us these terrible things. He said he can’t get them out of his head.  I told him the first step was to forgive each person who caused him pain, and then to ask God to take that memory out of his head.  I overcame my painful memories by doing this. In fact, just today, I was complaining again. By the way, complaining is a symptom of a painful memory. So, I asked God to show me why I was complaining.  I waited until God brought the memories to my mind of how my father often let me down.  Next, I forgave my father and asked God to lose (untie and remove) the negative effect of each memory from my mind related to the unmet expectations and the resulting disappointment. This process is explained in detail on my website. I invite you to visit my site to learn more. https://hopeforcompletehealing.com

This man, and many people, are only focused on what they don’t like and the bad things that happened, and they remain stuck in misery.  Do you see yourself stuck in the pit of depression and misery?  Maybe you feel sad, humiliated, or shame, which is stealing your joy.  See the following page to transform these negative heart issues with transformation truth: JOY Issues

You may also be interested in reading my story of Freedom from Humiliation and Mental Strongholds of Shame and Sadness

7 Ways to Suffer Well: (Part 1)

Having gone through much suffering myself, and I can make seven suggestions on how to suffer well since suffering is inevitable.

1.  Accept that suffering happens to everyone in the world, and we can’t control when, how, or what happens to us.  We can only control how we react to it, so acceptance is the first step to suffering well. The reason for suffering is that we live in an imperfect and unpredictable world with imperfect people. Often we cause our own suffering from the wrong choices we make.  Suffering can be called a trial, a tribulation, or an affliction.

1 Peter 4:12-14 states, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery (painful; NIV) trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13) But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”

2. Allow suffering to strengthen you and to make you more compassionate. For instance, when you endure afflictions well, then you can support and comfort others. For example, others, who had been through similar difficulties as I have supported, encouraged, and helped me. Their encouragement helped me to become stronger and to then be able to comfort and support others who were going through similar suffering.

3.  Don’t take it personally. Embrace suffering as a part of life that reveals your personality or character flaws.  Personality flaws are often the result of painful memories, which generates unhealthy beliefs, that then controls your negative reactions.  My website, hopeforcompletehealing.com, explains how to discover, transform, and reprogram painful memories and unhealthy beliefs, so that you can deal with difficulties in a healthy way.

4. Forgiving is the key to suffering well. Forgiving those who cause or have caused your suffering is the only way to keep your peace and joy. When you don’t forgive, then you become angry, bitter, or resentful because you are self-absorbed and focused on the injustice of the suffering. For example, I could have resented my ex-husband for allowing my son to go down the wrong path but, I realize my son is responsible for the wrong choices he makes. I could have resented my son for making wrong choices, and bringing embarrassment and shame to the family but, I realize I am no one special and I am not alone. My point is not to take offense, because of another person’s weakness or sin. Be quick to forgive and practice the truths in the Word of God. Refer to my post on forgiveness WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.

5. Turn your suffering over to God and allow Him to work in your life. Difficulties perfect you, strengthen your faith, and increases your ability to endure. Submit the outcome of the trial or difficulty to God and don’t lose His peace and joy. Remember, you cannot control what, when, or how difficulties happen, but you can control what you do when they come.

James 1:2-4 –Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces1 steadfastness2 (endurance; patience). 4) And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect3 and complete4, lacking in nothing.” (ESV)

** 1) Produce means to bring forth; create; bear (as a plant bears fruit and seed); etc..

** 2) Steadfastness means firm, fixed, settled, or established. 2. Constant; not changing.

** 3) Perfect means complete in all respects; without defect.

** 4) Complete means lacking none of the parts; to make entire, thorough, or perfect

** 5) Endurance means the ability to last, continue, or remain b) ability to stand pain, distress, fatigue, etc.

** 6) Patience means the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation.

?? Why is it important to test our faith?

Testing our faith reveals what we really believe. Testing also strengthens and purifies our faith. Trials and suffering give us the opportunity to practice the truths in God’s Word, which strengthen our faith and transform our thinking, attitudes, and character.

Romans 5:2-4 states, “Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3) Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” (ESV)

6. Stay focused on the truths and promises of God’s Word and do what it says.  When we do this, then we avoid depression that often accompanies suffering.  Grief is healthy, but depression is not. Depression is inner anger, caused by focusing on what you don’t want. Looking up and finding the rainbow, and maintaining a positive view, helps you suffer well. The Bible says to “be thankful in everything, pray without ceasing, and rejoice always” (1 Thes. 5:16-18). This sounds hard to do, but with God’s help, all things are possible.

Philippians 4:6-7 states, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And, 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

7. Stay humble. Suffering will often leads to pride, because we think we didn’t or don’t deserve it. So suffering well is to humbly seek God’s help and strength to endure and overcome. Remember, Satan also causes afflictions to draw us away from God, read the story of Job. Satan wants us to become angry and depressed, which is why we need to resist him and draw near to God.

James 4:6-8 states, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it states, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ 7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

None of us likes suffering, but it happens. What you do during times of suffering will either make you stronger or miserable; it is your choice to suffer well or not. Also, keep suffering in proper perspective. I often say, “This too shall pass.”

Romans 8:18 states, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 states, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18) as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Read about how Joseph suffered well: Joseph, an Example of Suffering Well and God’s Response: Part 2 of Suffering Well